Any benefit to leaving GT120 in Mac Pro.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by drac, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. drac macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2004
    #1
    I have just upgraded with a second hand ATI 5870 card in my MP4.1. I run an 23" ACD and 1080 sony TV.

    General usage including some photo work and gaming in bootcamp.

    Is there any benefit from putting the 120 in the 2nd PCI slot. ie advantages in CI or other graphics card intensive apps or should I just sell the GT120.
     
  2. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #2
    There is some advantage:
    The 5870 has 1 gig of ram and 1600 processing cores (someone can correct me if I'm mistaken).

    If you have 1 monitor plugged in, then that monitor gets all of the resources.
    If you have 2 monitors plugged in, then they have to share.

    You can leave the GT120 in and use it to run the 2nd monitor if you want the entire 5870 dedicated to a single display.
     
  3. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #3
    Photo work you aren't going to notice any benefit. Gaming doesn't exactly support gpu slave configurations.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    Keep the card and you have a dedicated framebuffer for each monitor. Also you can keep using PhysX on the Nvidia GPU if you keep the GT120.

    However, both of these benefits are slight and you may not notice the difference at all.
     
  5. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

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    Does anyone know if the GT 120 will still work in a mac pro 1,1 one? It seems there're conflicting reviews whether not this will work in the original Mac pro. I know that the 4870 will work now that Snow Leopard updated its drivers but not sure if that was the case with the GT 120.
     
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    No, it does not. The GT120 is EFI64 only and the 1,2 and 2,2 Mac Pros use EFI32 ROMs. The reason most ATI cards will work in the older machines is that they continue carry both EFI32 and EFI64 firmware.
     
  7. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

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    Thanks much for the info.
     
  8. drac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2004
    #8
    So does this mean on games like Batman AA I get the benefits of the PhysX even though the sony screen I game on is plugged into the ATI card?
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #9
    It lets you run CUDA software if you have any.

    In Windows you can use it as a physics processing card for games.
     
  10. drac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2004
    #10
    No I don't think I do have any CUDA software.

    Will the windows gaming side of thing do the physics on the card automatically?
     
  11. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #11
    The PhysX functionality is installed as part of the NVIDIA Windows driver. In games that support PhysX, you'll probably need to enable it in the in-game settings.
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #12
    Yes, but you have to patch the Nvidia drivers. Nvidia turns off Physx in their drivers if they detect another manufacturer's card in the system.

    Not really sure it's worth the effort for what little a GT120 can bring.
     
  13. drac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2004
    #13
    Hey guys thanks for the responses.

    ActionableMango can you point me in the right direction for patching the nvidia so it will let me run it with the ATI.
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #14
    All I can do is point the way; I have not done this myself.

    Anyway, this is the most thorough thread I'm aware of. It covers everything from installation to verifying that Physx is working:
    http://www.overclock.net/t/822048/hybrid-physx-mod-information/20

    Good luck!
     
  15. drac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2004
    #15
    Success with physx

    I already had the most upto date ATI drivers (11.9 I think).
    I put the 120GT back into slot2 & installed the most upto date Nvidia graphics driver and physx from the driver package 285.62.

    Then I patched by drivers with the mod from GenL from NGOHQ.com

    Testing with fluidmark and it all seems to be working. The ATI primary renderer and the Nvidia for dedicated physx.

    Currently I have the ATI 5870 plugged into the 46" Sony for gaming and I have plugged the ACD into the DVI on the 120GT.

    Now I just need to get a game that uses it. I tryed to install metro but ran into steam issues. (waiting for customer support ) I have finished batman AA on the PS3 but might have to grab it for PC just to see what it is like.

    Thanks for the help guys another afternoon fiddling with my computer.
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #16
    Let us know how it goes with physx. I'm curious to find out if you see a noticeable difference or not.
     

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